(Revised July 2007, to see the previous policy click here).
All publications, if they have value, are created and edited with a specific purpose and focus. Watchman Magazine has a specific purpose, stated concisely in Ezekiel 33:7, “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.” It is the purpose of the editor and writers of Watchman Magazine to be a voice of warning in our generation. It may be that this desire will be criticized, nevertheless it is sound, and has basis in scripture. There is ever the need for a militant and clear voice for truth. Many faithful men and women are raising their voices in a defense of what is right, and this magazine is intended to be an outlet for their clarion call for righteousness, morality, respect for the authority of God, and purity in doctrine. For a more detailed discussion of this intent, please read the complete Statement of Purpose for Watchman Magazine.
A cogent and responsible editorial policy is important in carrying out the purpose of the magazine. The magazine is intended to be a conduit for discussion of the issues which trouble brethren today. A willingness to hear “both sides” of an issue is primary in importance. Honorable debate in the search for truth is both defensible and necessary. However, with everything good there is potential for abuse. We are not interested in publishing personal attacks, or of becoming hobbyists on any particular issue. As such, we present the following guidelines which we intend to follow closely when making editorial decisions.
The articles and studies submitted to Watchman Magazine will be chosen to accomplish one of the following things:
- Teach the truth of God’s word
- Explain Difficult Passages of Scripture
- Exhort and Edify Brethren
- Warn (Of false doctrines, false teachers, and deceptive practices)
I recognize (as editor of this magazine) my imperfections and limitations. No man is perfect, and I do not make any claim of approaching that lofty plain. Regarding the decisions I will make as editor of this magazine, I can only promise to be as fair and consistent as possible. I take full responsibility for editorial decisions.
As editor, I will determine whether unsolicited articles are worthy of publication. I refuse to get bogged down in running material that is of no interest to readers, or that which seeks to further a hobbyist’s agenda. A danger of an “open paper” is potential criticism if any particular article is refused. I will not hesitate to risk that criticism if I feel the article submitted will not benefit our readers.
(Modification: January 2010. In the new iteration of Watchman, we at present are not accepting unsolicited articles. Therefore, the paragraph above is no longer accurate, as it seeks to regulate a practice that at present does not exist. Rather than simply make the change, we add this modification so that it is clear to all that there has been a change in editorial policy, and when that change took place).
Parameters for Article Review:
- If a reader reviews any article written in Watchman Magazine, and the editor determines this review is worthy of publication, then the review will be sent to the original author for rebuttal. The review and rebuttal will be run in the magazine, “side by side”, with a link to the original article. This arrangement would complete the exchange.
- If an unsolicited article, worthy of publication, is received which the editors determine needs review, the editors will assign a man to review the article. The article and review will run side by side in the same issue of the magazine. (Note: The editor will contact the author of the original article to determine if the author is willing for the article to appear under such an arrangement). This arrangement would complete the exchange. (See Modification note above, Jan. 2010).
- If differences expressed are deemed sufficient for debate, arrangements will be made for a written exchange. Parameters would be mutually arrived at by disputants, with final approval to be made by the editor. The debate would run in its entirety in a single issue of the magazine. (Modification: January 2010. As the magazine is not now published as self-contained issues, the debate will be published in whole when completed, with links available from one article to the next). (Note: I encourage such exchanges on matters that trouble brethren. Truth does not fear open discussion. Disputants will be held to high standards, addressing issues while refraining from personal attacks and innuendo.)
Some miscellaneous parameters for written debates and articles
- The tone of articles should be characterized by plainness of speech, without being sullied by angry, hurtful rhetoric.
- Identification by name is acceptable when identifying false teaching or disagreements, but ad hominem argumentation is not welcome. The issue should be argued rather than the man.
- An aspect of the electronic format is elasticity with regard to article length. However, this does not mean that sloppy, ill-constructed articles are acceptable. Writing should be concise and readable. Watchman writers are encouraged to remember that the possibility of dealing with an issue fully, without space constraints will not matter if the reader finds the material too verbose, uninteresting, or not worthy of his time. In effect, there is no use in writing it if someone is not going to read it.
Defense of truth through debate has gotten a bad name among brethren. This is unfortunate as the exposure of error by truth is so effective in this format. Jesus engaged in such as he continually answered the Jewish leaders. His answer to their challenges established His truth, and exposed their motivations and false ways. Paul continually appeared in the synagogue, in the marketplace, and in the pagan temple to confront the false ways of both the Judaizer and the Pagan. We will follow their example by discussing the issues that currently trouble brethren. We will examine and expose false teaching regarding Divorce & Remarriage; the bounds of Christian Fellowship; The Nature of Christ’s Spirit and Person while on earth, The Organization of the Local Church; The Nature and Work of the Evangelist, as well as that of the Elder; The Woman’s Place in the Church; the dangers of the”Positive Christianity” focus; among others. Any issue dividing brethren has potential for discussion in our pages. We will discuss these matters unilaterally if necessary, but it is our desire to do so bilaterally with any who would advocate a particular position we believe not to be scriptural.
We will not be hobbyists. However, we do want to deal with any issue that troubles God’s people, by dealing with it from scripture, by uncovering false doctrine and false teachers, and by exhibiting righteousness, dignity and steadfastness.
God’s word is the only standard. Do not accept anything contained in these pages just because it is contained in these pages. Be noble as the Bereans (Acts 17:11) and search God’s word to determine the truthfulness of what is written.
Posted February 1, 2002
(From this date forward the following notice is in effect):
It is the desire of the editor of Watchman Magazine that the material published by this magazine be shared and disseminated. All material published in Watchman Magazine is copyrighted, and ownership of such material is shared between the magazine and the author of the material. Our policy regarding the reprinting and dissemination of the materials on site is very liberal. You are free to reprint, and share the material freely with others. We ask that in so doing you give appropriate credit to the author and Watchman Magazine. In reprinting the material we require that you print it in its entirety, without alteration. The purpose of copyrighting the material is not to discourage the use of, but rather the misuse of the material.
If anyone has any questions concerning the editorial policy of Watchman Magazine, feel free to contact me at : email@example.com